City charters for Calgary and Edmonton—more local autonomy is good, more taxation isn’t

In the latest speech from the throne in Alberta’s legislature, a lot of attention was given to the province’s troubling fiscal situation. Tucked away towards the end of the speech, however, was mention of something very interesting to anyone active in the municipal sphere—the drafting of city charters for Calgary and Edmonton.Basically, a city charter is a provincial law giving a municipality more autonomy in its governance. In key areas such as election processes, control over municipal budgets and land-use, Alberta will let Calgary and Edmonton city councils decide whether to stick to existing provincial law, or to chart their

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